Held over a weekend each June, the event attracts dancers from the islands, across the United States and Japan who compete in contemporary and traditional styles of the hula dance. Participants of all ages enter the event, which offers categories for men, women, senior citizens and children. Hundreds of dancers perform while accompanied by some of the finest musicians on the islands.

Descendants of the beloved king honor his life every June by presenting a lavish parade. Festive floats and riders on horseback represent the royal family and members of the court. All proceed down the street while wearing colorful costumes. Riders and horse alike wear garlands of beautiful flowers. The procession continues to the commemorative statue of the ruler and onto the park that bears his name.

Beginning in August and extending well into October, the people from the various islands come together to celebrate the Polynesian cultures found in the state. Hundreds of volunteers present a number of activities that include everything from art exhibits and costume displays to dancing and musical performances. Opening ceremonies introduce the royal court who reign throughout the festivities. Various stages present traditional demonstrations and shows. The event also features a gala floral parade, arts and craft vendors and plenty of native foods. All activities are free and open to the public.

In October, approximately 1,000 athletes arrive, form teams and participate in this traditional canoe race that journeys 41 miles across open ocean in a test of endurance, strength and courage. The men's race begins at the Hale O Lono Harbor and finishes at Duke Kahanamoku Beach. The race commemorates the traditional form of island transportation and represents one of the oldest sporting events in the state.

This annual December event welcomes tens of thousands to participate in the 26.2 mile foot race that begins in Waikiki and finishes at historic Diamond Head. Considered one of the most highly attended marathons in the country, the route provides runners with the chance to travel along the spectacular coast on beaches, through parks and past monuments. Watching the event costs nothing, but participating requires an entrance fee.

Main cities in Hawaii

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shimown / Alma Nac / airinnajera / jmck